It was after 2 a.m. when transit cop John Kostick descended into Manhattan’s First Ave. subway station.
On the Brooklyn-bound L platform, Kostick saw a tall, thin black man scrawl “RQS” on the wall in foot-high letters with a felt-tip marker.
The cop did his duty and collared the graffiti tagger on that morning 30 years ago today, Sept. 15, 1983. He later said the man was resigned, almost cordial.
He said, “Hey, man, you got me.”
Kostick cuffed the perp and walked him to the toll booth, where he took the man’s ID.
His name was Michael Stewart, 25, an aspiring artist and model who was on his way home to Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, where he lived with his parents. He asked the cop not to call and wake them.
According to Kostick, Stewart’s disposition changed as they waited for the arrest transport van. He bolted upstairs, with the officer on his heels.